Gate 4: Product Explanation - Harley-Davidson® Rocker™ Power Wheels
Project Management: Critical Project Review
At this point of the project we have finally resolved the problem we had with group meetings. Because the meetings take place directly after class on Fridays we have had 100% attendance to the meetings since the change. Unfortunately our plan to check up on each other has failed miserably and we are still suffering from a massive amount of miscommunication. For this gate we failed to meet all of our internal deadlines and due to a miscommunication one of our design revisions was initially done incorrectly and had to be done by a different member of the group due to time constraints. As the project manager I am going to call all the group members everyday in order to make sure that their individual parts of the project are finished with enough time for revision before the final submission of the project.
Product Archaeology: Product Explanation
The product was most likely assembled in an assembly line where the parts are made separately and then the individual pieces are put together by hand. This is probable because the Power Wheels Harley-Davidson Rocker involves large quantity of interchangeable parts, a common feature on many assembly lines. This can be confirmed by looking at pieces that are shared throughout multiple models. Also the assembly line keeps required experience minimal while maximizing output. Also the product is packaged with some assembly required. The front fork assembly and handlebars are not initially attached to each other so that they can fit into a box with the main body of the product for packaging.
Some examples of interchangeable parts:
- 00968-1900 Gearbox #3B Assembly Shared with at least the:
- P6830 Barbie VW Beetle (http://www.householdappliance.com/downloads2/P6830_Barbie_VW_Beetle.pdf, part # 5),
- L1114 Dora the Explorer Volkswagen New Beetle (http://www.totalapplianceservice.com/PWSC/pdf/L1114_Dora_the_Explorer_Volkswagen_New_Beetle.pdf, part # 5)
- 74550-9279 Gearbox 3B with insert shared with at least the:
- Kawasaki Ninja 98 (http://www.dawningdesigns.com/Hobbymasters/74750.pdf, part # 44)
- 74460-2249 Wheel Driver 10 RIB shared with at least the:
- B9785 Kawasaki Adventure 4X4 w/Trailer (http://powerwheels.mendingshed.com/B9785.pdf, part # 22)
Reassembly-Disassembly Process Differences
There are no differences between the reassembly and disassembly processes, every step is just done backwards. The front wheel and the rear wheel assemblies are needed to be disassembled first of reassembled last, otherwise the rest of the disassembly and reassembly should be simple.
*Ease of Reassembly Scale is below the reassembly steps.
Ease of Reassembly
- The step is incredibly simple and does not require the use of any tools.
- The step can be completed using only one tool and is straight forward.
- The step is difficult to complete and requires the use of more than one tool.
Certain aspects of the product were seen as inefficient or could be improved in certain ways. The design revisions show what changes can be made to the product to make it bring in more revenue by making it more environmentally friendly, cutting costs, making it more appealing socially, or make it more appealing globally, or a possibly combination of a few of those.
While testing the product we found that the limited angle that the front wheel assembly can rotate provides an insufficient amount of control when trying to turn. In order to fix this we would increase the possible angle of rotation for the front wheel assembly. Currently the handlebar and the top frame brace are made (as shown in figure A) in a way that prevents the front wheel assembly from spinning. We propose that by increasing the angle between the parts highlighted in red in figure B the steering capabilities of the product will be increased. The angle would only be increased by 2 or three degrees on either side but the top frame brace would remain symmetrical through the line shown in figure C.
Social and Economic - Because the frame brace is made through injection molding, in order to make this revision, a new mold for the top frame brace would need to be created. This addresses the economic concern because of the high initial cost of creating a new mold. We believe that this cost is justified because of the increased safety (societal concern) that better control of the product provides.
Include a Built-in Flashlight as a Headlight:
Adding a working headlight to the product will help it imitate a real Harley Davidson motorcycle, increasing its realism and make it more appealing to consumers. The headlight will be powered by a AAA battery and have an on-off switch so no modifications in the wiring are needed to connect the new headlight to the main battery. An LED light bulb, along with other plastic material, will be used, making it can last longer, and giving it more durability.
Social - The new feature will bring more attention to people since it makes the power wheel more realistic. It will also increase the usage time of the product since it can be operated at night time.
Environmental - The materials used to add this new feature have been considered so its contribution to global world pollution is minimal. The materials used are:
- Plastic: reusable.
- AAA battery: we will ether use carbon zinc or alkaline batteries which “are classified by the federal government as non-hazardous waste”. (Battery disposal) This can also be disposed in the normal municipal waste.
- Energy efficient LED light bulbs: the most important aspect of this material is that it does not use mercury and is energy efficient.
Economic - Since the headlight will be powered by a AAA battery, no major modification will be made to run cables from the battery. The materials used can be purchased at low prices and are durable. This will only have a small price increase to the power wheel, but it will be more competitive with other products.
Rubber Coated Wheels:
Currently, the wheels on the product have very little friction and control. By putting a rubber coating on each of the wheels, it will gain more of both, thus giving more safety to the user. This will make the product more appealing to consumers and the extra consumers will make up for the extra cost in making the product.
Economic - The rubber will add more cost to make the product, but the extra consumers that this design revision will bring in will make up for that cost.
Environmental - Rubber is generally considered a "low-impact," environmentally friendly building material. Adhesive-free installation could promote recycling used rubber in another application, thus eliminating disposal concerns. Rubber flooring is 100% recyclable, as opposed to vinyl (petroleum-based) products.
To navigate back to the main page click Group 25 - Harley-Davidson® Rocker™ Power Wheels
"Battery Disposal Guide for Households - Where to Safely Recycle Used Batteries." EHSO - Environmental Health & Safety Online - Free EHS Guidance Contents Page. Web. 10 Dec. 2010. <http://www.ehso.com/ehshome/batteries.php#BatteryFacts>.